How do I know when corn is ready to harvest?

Maize (corn)   

My corn plants all have ears but I do not know when I should harvest them. I have some super sweet and popcorn varieties, sorry I don’t remember exactly which ones and they have been growing extremely well and look very healthy. Is it ok to open the husk while and take a look at the corn while it is still on the plant. Thanks

Posted by: Stan (1 point) Stan
Posted: July 19, 2013


For the sweet corn...
Is the cornsilk dried out and brown?

When you wrap your hand around it does it feel full?

Pull back the husk a bit, can you see kernals? If yes, push your fingernail into one of the kernals. If a thin, milky fluid comes out it's ripe. If the fluid is thick and milky it's over ripe.

For the popcorn...

Leave it until it is dried out on the corn stalk.

Posted by: Tom (2 points) Tom
Posted: July 20, 2013

sweet corn kernels are bigger than popcorn kernels and the ears on sweet corn are also bigger than popcorns . popcorn ears you need to leave on the stalks till the stalks die.. sweet corn is ripe when the you push your nail into a kernel and a thin milky juice squeezes out if it is thick then it is over ripe . it is ok to pull the husk back till you see kernels, just be sure to put them back as best you can when done checking your corn ear.also as soon as the silk turns brown on sweet corn it is also ready but need to be careful when going by the silk color as if you wait too long silk color can mean over ripe too

Posted by: christopher hedding (3 points) christopher hedding
Posted: July 20, 2013

If both of your two types of corn tassled (produced pollen) at the same time, they may have cross-pollinated. If this happened (wind blows the pollen from one plant to another), some of your sweet corn won't taste very sweet. I don't know what it does to popcorn. I wouldn't bother saving seed from either type because it won't turn out like you expect.

When you grow different varieties or types of corn, arrange their planting times so they will tassel at least 10 days apart. You can do this by planting an early, mid-season and late varieties all at once, or plant similar varieties in two or three plantings, each two weeks apart.

Posted by: FussyOldHen (16 points) FussyOldHen
Posted: July 24, 2013

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